Immerse yourself into a realm of magic as we delve into the fantastical mind of epic fantasy author G J Kemp.
From his early beginnings, Kemp’s love for the fantasy genre blossomed in the face of adversity.
In this exclusive interview, Kemp invites us into his unique approach to world-building, his meticulous plotting process, and the thematic cores woven into his spellbinding narratives.
The twists and turns of his creative process are as intriguing as his novels, providing valuable insights for aspiring writers and readers alike.
So, grab yourself a cuppa and let’s embark on this fascinating expedition into the depths of Kemp’s creative world.
.What inspired you to start writing in the fantasy genre?
When I was young, I had a number of operations to try combat me being born with Cerebral Palsy. This meant, that I was immobile for large periods of my life. Bear in mind that this was in the 1970’s. To combat the boredom, my mother bought me every Enid Blyton book available. I devoured them followed by Lord of the Rings and The Magician. From there, my love for the fantasy genre was born.
How do you approach world-building in your stories?
Through dialogue coupled with action. I hardly ever describe a scene. My characters describe the scene for my by moving through the world they are in. Sometimes, a character will talk about a piece of the world, but only if this is really necessary.
Can you walk us through your writing process?
I am a major, major, plotter. Here it is high level. I start with working out the story structure. This usually comes in the form of a template. I am a firm believer that all good stories follow a structure. From there, I write a general outline for each Act, Block and Chapter. Once the outline has been done, I then re-outline against each scene. Once that is done, I re-outline in detail. Only then do I start working on the manuscript. Juno and the Lady is 111k words long. My plotting outline is nearly 100k words long.
Would you survive in your own fantasy world?
Absolutely. Since I am the writer I would give myself new powers every time I needed them! 🙂
What themes do you explore in your work?
I work on a three-theme structure. Each book I write, needs to have three themed arcs. Take Miles and the Soldier for instance. Theme 1 – Disability, Theme 2 – Friendship, Theme 3 – Loyalty and Trust.
What do you consider to be your biggest influences as a writer?
Enid Blyton, Raymond E. Feist, Stephen King, J. R. R. Tolkien.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve had to research for your stories?
I think the strangest thing is for my upcoming series, Abbie Vera. She has an angel and demon sitting on each shoulder who consistently whisper stuff into her ears. Researching the interaction between these entities is a bit of a minefield!
What do you hope readers take away from your stories?
A sense of joy and hopefully something to think about. Most of my stories look at the worlds problems from different angles. If my stories give my readers another perspective, I am a happy author.
Would you rather have a pet dragon or a unicorn, why?
I would combine the two and have a Pegasus, thank you very much. A fire breathing, flying horse! Dragons and unicorns wouldn’t stand a chance!
If you could have any magical ability, what would it be?
I would have the ability to ward off death. I would like to live as long as I choose and only when I am done with exploring life, can the depths of darkness take me.
If you were stuck on a deserted island with one of your characters, who would it be and why?
I think Genevie. A vampire princess. Although I think I would just end up being her food!
What would you name your pet dragon?
Where is the best place to start reading your work?
A nomad at heart, GJ has lived in nine countries across Africa, Europe and the Middle East. His career has included working as a Divemaster in The Red Sea, a zookeeper in Israel, and a proofreader in Sweden.
Born with cerebral palsy, GJ has spent a lifetime trying to tie his shoelaces while standing up in the hope of not falling over. It is a constant challenge, but sometimes he occasionally succeeds.
Finding the love for writing later in life, GJ spends most of his free time going for walks and dreaming of story ideas. He hopes to one day have a small place on the oceanfront where he can walk his dogs on the beach.